Prep Basketball: Tournaments begin tonight
By Mike London
SALISBURY —For two Rowan teams, the NPC tournament, which opens tonight at a variety of venues, means distinction or extinction.
The NPC tourney offers a last chance for the fifth-seeded South Rowan girls and the sixth-seeded Carson boys. Both have to go 3-0 this week or call it a season.
The NPC tournament also is meaningful for the Carson girls, who tied North Iredell for first place, but lost a flip for the top tourney seed and the bye that went with it.
The Cougars could emerge from this affair as tournament champion and with a No. 1 seed for the state playoffs. They also could plummet to a No. 3 seed. That’s what could happen if someone unexpected — the dangerous West Rowan girls, for instance — wins the event.
There are two NPC doubleheaders in the county tonight — at East and at West. They’ll start with girls games at 6 p.m. No kidding — NPC varsity basketball starting at a reasonable hour.
Doubleheader admission is $5 tonight. It will be bumped to $6 after the tournament moves to one site — Statesville — for the semifinals (Wednesday and Thursday) and championship games (Friday).
South’s boys are a solo act tonight at home at 6 p.m., while Carson’s girls are at home for a 6 p.m. tipoff.
South’s girls (9-15) play at No. 4 seed East Rowan (8-14). East is much taller and won the regular-season meetings 51-37 and 58-45.
South’s Avery Locklear has broken South’s record for points by a freshman with 381.
East has qualified for the state playoffs unless South, West Iredell or Statesville wins the tournament.
In the nightcap in Granite Quarry, Carson’s boys (7-17) will challenge the third-seeded Mustangs (13-9).
East has secured a playoff spot, and it beat Carson in two of three regular-season meetings. Carson won a memorable home game in overtime.
West Rowan’s teams will host West Iredell’s clubs. Both WR teams have locked up state playoff berths. Both WR squads beat WI by double digits twice during the regular season.
West Rowan’s boys (14-10) are seeded second, while the West Rowan girls (12-12) are the No. 3 seed.
If they’re still upset over losing to North Iredell, Carson’s girls (21-2) might set records against No. 7 seed Statesville. Carson won 85-27 and 71-16 in earlier meetings.
South’s fourth-seeded boys (7-16) host No. 5 seed North Iredell. South won both regular-season matchups, mostly because Josh Medlin averaged 22.5 points per game against NI.
South is in the state playoffs unless North Iredell, Carson or West Iredell wins the tournament.
In the first round of the YVC tournament, No. 5 seed North Rowan (9-13) makes another long trip to play No. 4 North Moore tonight.
North Rowan’s top-seeded boys (20-3) are at home against No. 8 seed South Stanly on Tuesday at 6 p.m. South Stanly can’t be overly thrilled with that pairing. North won 71-34 and 84-37 this season. North will try hard not to look ahead to a possible rematch with South Davidson in Friday’s title game. Semifinals and finals will be held at East Montgomery.
Salisbury’s third-seeded boys (10-13) are at home at 7 p.m. on Tuesday. They open the CCC tournament against No. 6 East Davidson. Salisbury’s girls earned a first-round bye.
Howard Platt and Bob Parker will call tonight’s West Rowan-West Iredell boys game and Tuesday’s East Davidson-Salisbury boys on WSTP-1490 AM.